While men's fashions aren't as changeable as women's throughout the seasons, one can still find plenty of old, fuddy-duddy guys' items in thrift stores, moldering sadly away. Vintage men's silk ties are one example we've seen skillfully repurposed into new, fashionable accessories, and now we're seeing that it can be done too with vintage mens' business suits that would otherwise lay forgotten. Based out of of Kewaunee, Wisconsin, Etsy entrepreneur Terry Lischka of Sew Much Style hunts for beautiful suit fabrics, transforming them into hats, bags, purses and cellphone and laptop cases with a classic, urban twist.
Lischka's collection of handmade accessories and bags -- named "Finnigan" after her grandson Finn -- came about in 2009 as a way to revamp old fabrics and her life; as a creative outlet to invest energy in, after having two grown children out of the house, and a government job she didn't find challenging. She was looking for something unique to start with on Etsy, and noticed that at fairs, her purses made out of suits always sold quickly. Lischka finally took the plunge in 2013 and quit her day job, saying:
I now invest all of my time growing my business and creating all the product ideas I hadn’t yet had time to develop. My business isn’t just about re-purposing inanimate objects; it’s also about re-purposing my life.
An avid DIYer who is now continuing a tradition of sewing handed down to her by her mother and her mother's mother, Lischka creates her items from materials she finds from suit coats, wool skirts, and leather items, sourced from thrift stores she trawls within a 100 mile radius of her home. All these tartans, tweeds and lovely elegant patterns are mixed and matched to create fashionable messenger bags, purses, tablet, cellphone sleeves that would fit right in on any big city street, and there's even adorable hats and vests for children.
One of Lischka's most interesting projects though are her "memory bags," made with the clothing of her clients' departed loved ones. A nice touch is added with the labels of these beloved suits put right on the front. She explains:
I have designed bags and other items to pay tribute to loved ones that have passed on by using their own suit coats and other memorabilia that my customers ship to me. A "memory bag" is and amazing way to be able to keep a loved one with you, and has been a very rewarding way for me to use my talent.
Affordable and persistently unique, yet made with a classic taste that's bound to never go out of fashion, Lischka's tailored items are an innovative remake of fabrics that might otherwise not get a second chance. More over at Sew Much Style.